Jun 3, 2013

Got A Health Goal? Make it SMART!

Happy Monday! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may know that I am still in Toronto for TBEX 2013. While I'm away, I will be handing over Will Write 4 Travel to Michelle Pino for the day. Michelle is coming to us from the Skana Spa at Turning Stone Resort in upstate New York, and she will be sharing with us some tips and inspiration on how to make and achieve our fitness goals. Big thanks to Michelle!
With National Physical Fitness and Sports Month ending last week, there is no better time than the present to start thinking about how you can begin living a well rounded, happier and healthier life. Many people want to become healthier and even establish goals to make it happen, but if you find yourself unable to keep your own fitness goals, you should probably make them SMART. Here's how: 

This first word references the importance of making sure that your goal is clear rather than general or vague. To determine whether your goal is specific, see if it can answer: 
What am I attempting to accomplish?

This second word references your need to establish concrete criteria that will be used to measure your journey towards accomplishing your goal. If you don't have a goal that is measurable, you will not be able to determine if you are making successful progress towards accomplishing it. 

This third word references the importance of establishing goals that are realistic and therefore possible to attain. It should not involve unreasonable expectations such as requiring that you be able to run a mile within a week despite the fact that you have no history of consistent exercise.  

This fourth word references the fact that your goal has to matter. An example of a goal that wouldn't matter would be an obese individual who wants to lose weight making a commitment to complete her homework before ten pm each evening. While this goal is specific, measurable, and attainable, it does not directly pertain to the subject's attempt to shed extra pounds. 

This fifth word references the fact that your goal should have a target date. This is important because establishing deadlines enables you to focus your mental and physical efforts on completing the goal before or on the due date. If it is effective, a time-bound question will be able to answer questions like:
What can I do today?  

No matter what your goal, creating an inspiration board can help you meet it. It provides a personalized visual outline of your strategy. For fitspiration, look through the web, in magazines and in your personal photo collection and gather images that motivate you to improve your health.

Here’s an example:


1) I’ve started to golf as a way to spend more time outdoors. The resort near my work is a great option because I go with a big group, half of us can do 9 holes and then go grab a bite at one of restaurants of the resort, and the rest of the group can golf the full 18 holes. (Source: NY golf resort)

2) I’m really inspired by yoga for a number of reasons. Yoga focuses the mind and body, teaching ourselves to find a spiritual balance. I also love that yoga can be done anywhere, even the beach! The beach is so relaxing, a great place for yoga or walking. (Source: Beach Yoga)

3) Since I am not very athletic, simple activities like bike riding are a fun way to stay active without doing anything too strenuous on the body. I love beach bikes with the big baskets! (Source: Bike )

4) Last spring I started learning more about gardening. I enjoy being in the garden and watching blooms take life as the warmer weather approached. Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers, plus they smell wonderful! (Source: Lilac Flowers)

5) What better way to boost motivation than to treat yourself to some fabulous workout gear or a fresh pair of new kicks?  Bright colored apparel, like these Asics from Zappos, is very popular for the warm weather and motivation! (Source: Sneakers)

While establishing and accomplishing goals geared towards getting you fit may seem complex or even impossible, the task doesn't have to be difficult. By implementing the SMART goal principles outlined above, you can begin shedding pounds and toning up in no time. Good luck!

Michelle Pino has provided these tips in hopes of educating others on how to lead a more organized and less stressful life. Michelle believes a more organized approach to tasks will result in more completed goals. Her hobbies include crafting, reading and learning about healthy lifestyles. Michelle is thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Irene and together share their ideas on “­­­­­­­­­Will Write 4 Travel.”

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